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Vintage Style In A Modern World

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Gail Carriger Talks About Getting Retro in Shorts

I know some of you are experiencing winter right now, but up here, after a brief dabble with June rain ~ really, California? I mean to say, really?! ~ it has now jetted up to the usual swelter of summer. Parasols, check!

Gail Carriger Talks About Getting Retro in Shorts

For those of us in the good old US-of-A it is Independence Day. (Yes, the movie has been playing incessantly. Yes, I have to stop and watch it every time. Argh. I have the same issue with Con Air.) Where was I? Oh yes, the Fourth of July. I've always been mildly supicious of anything that began with the waste of a great deal of perfectly good tea, but, I digress. What does it really mean? Sun, parades, fireworks, watermelon, yadda yadda, and . . . BBQ! Which in turn means the dreaded . . . shorts!

Gail Carriger Talks About Getting Retro in Shorts
Minnie Mortimer Fall 2010

It took me a long time to come around to shorts. (I also didn't wear jeans until high school, but that is a different story. I still don't wear jeans much. Witness the AB's recent comment, "You own jeans?!" We've been dating nearly 2 years. I digress . . . again. You see what heat does to my brain?) Then I discovered shorts can have a lovely retro overtone to them.

Gail Carriger Talks About Getting Retro in ShortsGail Carriger Talks About Getting Retro in ShortsGail Carriger Talks About Getting Retro in Shorts
Anjelica back in the day, street fashion shot from a month or so ago, and Leslie Caron.

And retro shorts are fashionable right now, might was well take advantage. Leslie (pictured above in 1955 just before Daddy Long Legs) could walk out of that picture and down the street and be totally on trend. So could Anjelica for that matter. Ah, Anjelica, the original Alexia.

But shorts are difficult. The thing to do, I've always felt, is find the right length for your body type. For me this means ones I'm comfortable in but that show enough leg not to foreshorten me too much.

Gail Carriger Talks About Getting Retro in Shorts

Here's my current favorite pair. Shown with the shoes I'll be wearing with them for the 4th. I got them at a thrift store in San Francisco for about $20. I like them because they are a thick stretchy cotton, have sailor details, and are the right length. I'll probably also pair them with my big white straw hat.

Gail Carriger Talks About Getting Retro in ShortsGail Carriger Talks About Getting Retro in Shorts
Left is from 1958 sears posted on Tuppence Ha'penny by Charlotte, right is Liv Tyler photographed a few weeks ago.

Mine are a touch baggy. Because I am larger on the top then the bottom, I feel this balances me out. I will probably be wearing them with the kind of top shown below, although I reserve the right to change to a stripe instead.


Funny story with these shorts. Wore them just the other day, all day, and near the end of it I discovered I had a great big hole in the seam at the back! Yes, right over my butt. Luckily, I was wearing undies of exactly the same color blue. Moral of the story? Always try to match your undies to your shorts (unless white, in which case, wear nude).

If your bent isn't in the sailor direction there are a few more fun trends around, like flowered.

Gail Carriger Talks About Getting Retro in ShortsGail Carriger Talks About Getting Retro in Shorts
I just got a pair like those on the left from H&M, lovely & cool, on the right is YSL Cruise 2012.

Or if you feel like a real risk taker you could try velvet. Hard to imagine shorts as elegant but with a pussycat bow they have a certain class. So there it is, Fashionable Reader, I hope you have the most lovely of weekends. And whatever you choose to wear, please don't forget sunscreen!

Gail Carriger in New Orleans in a Green Dress

So, as I said in the last post, I'm off to New Orleans and Baton Rouge this weekend, Fashionable Reader. At last report, I needed to be prepared for 95+ and should limit my makeup. (Crisis! I never limit my makeup!) Anyway, on the hunt for my lighter weight vintage dresses I unearthed this one for Saturday . . .

Gail Carriger in New Orleans in a Green Dress

This is a louder pattern than I normally prefer, but this dress fits me so beautifully and is such a lovely light weight duck cloth, I can't resist. It's extremely well made and in the best condition of any of my  vintage pieces, but label-less, I'm afraid. I'd guess around 1954. I got it at Bon Mar Thrift Store in Sonoma for a cool $15.


I will be wearing mine retro style, and I'll post the look when I get back from New Orleans. However, I've been seeing a number of similar print dresses all over the web ~ in some of my favorite fashion blogs and on the runways. I thought I'd include some street style shots of how to wear just such a vintage patterned piece in a modern way. Hope you enjoy.

Gail Carriger in New Orleans in a Green DressGail Carriger in New Orleans in a Green Dress
Right Bluegirl Fall 2011 RTW runway, and left from the excellent fashion blog What I Wore.

Gail Carriger in New Orleans in a Green DressGail Carriger in New Orleans in a Green Dress
Left some runway or another and right

I'll be at the American Library Association Annual Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, (June 25 - 26, 2011), wearing this patterned green dress Saturday to speak at the YA Luncheon at noon and on the Science, Fantasy & Information Science Program from 4 ~ 5 pm. I hope to see some of you there.
Picnic in the Park ~ Victorian Style with Gail Carriger Queen Victoria's Parasol by Gail Carriger Gail Carriger Teal in Santa Clara ~ Nova Albion Steampunk Convention Outfit Day 1, 2013DIY ~ Steampunk Holster for Tiliting Folding Parasol by Gail Carriger Gail Carriger Talks About Getting Retro in ShortsGail Carriger in New Orleans in a Green Dress

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